Labour at the next election ……10 seats? February 13, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics, The Left.
I know we’re probably a few years away from an election but ….. with Labour now sliding in the polls , Paddy Healy made an interesting Comment on the recent Sunday Business Post Red C poll stating
When the Labour party vote declined to 10.4% in the 1997 GE following the Spring/Bruton/De Rossa government , it retained 17 of 33 seats. I believe that if Labour polled 11% in a general election to-day that it would retain far less seats. Traditionally, many Labour candidates were elected on transfers from independents and minor parties (in addition to benefitting from the surplus of coalition partner Fine Gael). The current poll indicates that Sinn Fein will be above the Labour Party on first counts in a large number of constituencies. Sinn Fein transfers will be unavailable in far more constituencies than was the case in the 2011 General Election. The decline in the Fine Gael vote will ensure that surpluses transferring to the Labour Party will also be reduced.
before finishing on
I will be very surprised if the Labour Party wins much more than 10 seats in the next general election. That would mean a loss of two thirds of existing Labour seats.
Now Labour were at 10% in the recent IPSOS / MRBI poll and the regional breakdown was as follows , 18% in Dublin, 9% in the rest of Leinster, 6% in Munster, and 5% Connaught/Ulster.
The non Dublin figures will be worrying and being on 6% in Munster is very low considering they currently have 9 TDs in that area. The analysis also pointed out that whilst Labour are on 18% in Dublin the Property Tax and Water Charges have yet to be introduced and its going to be Dublin that bares the brunt of the Property Tax. So Labour are more than likely to drop a good bit further in Dublin.
The recent Promissory Note ‘Deal’ is supposed to give fillup to the Government parties (which we’ll see at the next Red C poll, however I think it will be Fine Gael that will be the main beneficiaries of this.
In fact its strange enough in that I almost think in the long run Labour could be hit by the saving. So for example you’ve saved a billion annually why not drop the property tax, why not reopen a specialist hospital ward, why not build the school and so on.
I also suspect that like Fianna Fail the last time out we may see a number of senior Labour people retire at the next election. Canvassing and campaigning they are likely to be met with a vitriol they aren’t used to.
Well lets look at those Labour seats , the one quandary I’m in is what happens the TDs that have jumped ship but are still in the Party? Willie Penrose is due back in the fold soon but its hard to see all of Pat Nulty, Róisín Shorthall, Colm Keaveney and Tommy Broughan back onside unless there is at least a change of leadership. I could be wrong and Broughan could well retire with his existing constituency gone and split into some of Dublin Bay North and Dublin Fingal.
Carlow Kilkenny – Kilkenny based Ann Phelan is highly unlikely to hold on here even were Labour not to run a Carlow candidate. verdict – Loss
Clare – Michael McNamara highly unlikely to hold his seat –
Cork East- Sean Sherlock should just about hold on
Verdict -A Seat
Cork North Central – Kathleen Lynch will have a fight on her hands but should hold on, mind you if shes behind Mick Barry she could be in trouble
Verdict – Probable seat
Cork South Central – Ciaran Lynch will be under pressure from Sinn Fein and with the Constituency losing a seat from 5 to 4, Lynch will be the one n grave danger.
Verdict – Loss
Cork South West – Michael McCarthy is highly likely to lose his seat.
Verdict – Loss
Dublin Central – In what will be a 3 seater Joe Costello may well retire and I gather Emer Costello has been getting a profile in the area recently. A tough enough one to call and Costello lost the seat he won here in 1997 having won it during the ‘Spring Tide’ of 1992.
Verdict possible loss
Dublin Mid West – With 2 TDs Labour will have to field them both, likely to hold one.
Verdict -hold one lose one
Dublin Fingal – Increases to a five seater from the old Dublin North. Labours Brendan Ryan should hold on here but only just.
Dublin Bay North – A five seater made up of the old Dublin North Central and Dublin North East (minus some voters gone to Dublin Fingal). 3 Labour TDs were elected for the area in 2011. Sean Kenny, Tommy Broughan and Aodhan O’Riordan. There may well be retirements and it will be interesting to see if Broughan stands. Either way I think Labour will only win one of the five seats.
Verdict hold one
Dublin Bay South -A four seater of The Old Dublin South East with a bit of the old Dublin South Central. Ruairi Quinn will surely retire and Kevin Humphreys will find it difficult to hold on. Still I think he may just hold on.
Verdict – Hold one
Dublin North West
If Róisín Shortall stays as an Independent, it will be her rather than Labour TD John Lyons elected. Either way its Shorthalls seat .
Loss of one and if Shorthall is an Independent then a loss of two from 2011
Dublin Rathdown – Assuming Alex White stands here, he’ll lose
Dublin South Central -Going to be hard to hold on to 2 seats here with it reduced to a four seater.
Verdict lose one, hold one
Dublin South West – Currently hold two TDs in Pat Rabbitte and Eamonn Moloney. The increase to five seats might be helpful to them. They should hold one.
Verdict lose one, hold one
Dublin West – In 1997 Joan Burton lost her seat. Could it happen again? Varadkar should be safe so you are left with Joe Higgins, Burton, Patrick Nulty , McGuinness of FF and Donnelly of Sinn Fein fighting it out for the remaining 3 seats. Its going to be very close and surely there are more insensitive Social Welfare cuts on the way.
A possible loss (or two if you count Nulty)
Dun Laoghaire -In Effect a 3 seater as Sean Barrett is automatically returned. The sheen has certainly left Gilmore and it will be interesting to see if he can hold on. Definitely one FG with Gilmore fighting it out with a second FG candidate, Richard Boyd Barrett and FF.
Verdict -Should hold on but stranger things have happened.
Galway East – Down to 3 seats and highly unlikely that Keaveney (were he to run as a Labour candidate ) can hold on.
Galway West – The addition of parts of Mayo wont help Derek Nolan, who despite the surge to Labour in 2011 only increased the Labour vote by just over 1%. Next time out Michael Ds personal vote will be gone and Nolan looks to be a goner.
The new five seat Kerry constituency is going to be very competitive. FF will surely win one at least, FG one, Sinn Fein one and the final few seats between FF, FG, Tom Fleming, Michael Healy Rae and Labours Arthur Spring.
The various projections have Labour holding on here, mainly I suppose in that there is no big SF presence in Kildare. However if, as is likely, Emmet Stagg retires, would Labour be able to hold on to the seat. I suspect a resurgent FF may take this seat.
Again another constituency where if the TD retires the seat could be lost. If Jack Wall retires Labour will find it hard to hold on to the seat.
Limerick City (4)
Can Jan O’Sullivan hold on here? Sinn Fein will be pushing for a seat and Fianna Fail will be pushing for a second seat. Were Michael Noonan to retire , she probably will just about make it. Mind you she could well call it a day herself and in that case the seat would be gone. This is a tricky one in that Adrian Kavanaghs analysis of the various polls all have this as a Sinn Fein gain from Labour. I think she will just about hold on.
This is a strange one. Labour will hold if Willie Penrose stands (or indeed his Brother). If not the seat will be gone.
Verdict Hold with a Penrose standing , loss without a Penrose
Labour polled under a quota here in what was effectively a four seater in 2011. Next time out Sinn Fein will surely be looking for a second seat or indeed third seat here and Fianna Fail will be looking for a gain too. I cant see Ged Nash holding on.
Meath East (3)
Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein will be out to take Dominic Hannigans seat. Hes unlikely to hold on.
Tipperary (5)Even in a five seat Tippperary can Alan Kelly hold on? He’s geographically isolated with some of his Nenagah hinterland gone to the new Offaly constituency. There will be six TDs going for 5 seats and Fianna Fail will surely gain at least a seat here. Sinn Fein will be pushing hard for a seat too.
Waterford (4) -Fianna Fail are likely to gain a seat here with Sinn Fein pushing too. Ciara Conway will find it hard to hold on.
Wexford(5) Brendan Howlin should just about hold on here
Wicklow (5)- Despite fielding 3 candidates in 2011 Labour barely got a quota between the 3 of them. Anne Ferris looks very vulnerable.
Verdict Seat Loss